Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day 19 - La Catedral (part 2)

Galego word of the day: As cubertas - the covers

So, I've been in the Cathedral, I've seen the musuem, and I have been up on the roof of the Cathedral as well. The only thing on my checklist that I have not done is go behind the High Altar and see St. James himself. I have already written about going inside the Cathedral and I even talked about some of the things inside the museum, but yesterday was the first time I was able to go on the roof of the Cathedral.

That's right. The roof. Known as "As cubertas" or the covers, the roof of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela is made completely of granite and as such, it is possible to take a tour of this area of the Cathedral (10 Euros, or 8 in a large group). Even if you have a little bit of a fear of heights, I would recommend this tour. It's pretty informative and gives amazing views as you can see from the pictures.

So why is the roof made of granite? Apparently it was made to protect the Cathedral from further attacks which it had suffered earlier on in history. A stone roof would not burn the way a wooden or straw roof would and it also allowed access to the roof to watch for potential attacks. This was a brilliant defense plan that has helped increase income from tourism to the Cathedral in recent times.

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